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Mavic Pro - Fighting with the AutoFocus

Grantt

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I'm having an intermittent issue trying to maintain my focus on my mavic pro. You can see in the following video that I tried to focus by pressing the screen, and the mavic does seem to get focused on the island, and then it suddenly goes blurry again. You will see it at the 20 second mark, the 40 second mark, 50 second mark, and 1min 10 second mark. I tried over and over and it seemed to keep doing the samething. I finally just reverted to manual focus. This seems to happen to me for maybe 40 to 50% of my flights. Does anyone else have the same issue and know of a solution?

 

crystal-pete

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I'm having an intermittent issue trying to maintain my focus on my mavic pro. You can see in the following video that I tried to focus by pressing the screen, and the mavic does seem to get focused on the island, and then it suddenly goes blurry again. You will see it at the 20 second mark, the 40 second mark, 50 second mark, and 1min 10 second mark. I tried over and over and it seemed to keep doing the samething. I finally just reverted to manual focus. This seems to happen to me for maybe 40 to 50% of my flights. Does anyone else have the same issue and know of a solution?

I had the occasional problem with the Mavic Pro not always focusing properly but not lately probably because I recalibrated the IMU and also the Gimbal. Watch this video (link below) to get some helpful tips.

 

brett8883

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I'm having an intermittent issue trying to maintain my focus on my mavic pro. You can see in the following video that I tried to focus by pressing the screen, and the mavic does seem to get focused on the island, and then it suddenly goes blurry again. You will see it at the 20 second mark, the 40 second mark, 50 second mark, and 1min 10 second mark. I tried over and over and it seemed to keep doing the samething. I finally just reverted to manual focus. This seems to happen to me for maybe 40 to 50% of my flights. Does anyone else have the same issue and know of a solution?

What were you focusing on the island in the front or the back?
 

Grantt

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I was focusing on the bigger island in the back.
 

Grantt

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I had the occasional problem with the Mavic Pro not always focusing properly but not lately probably because I recalibrated the IMU and also the Gimbal. Watch this video (link below) to get some helpful tips.

Thanks for the link. I will try and recalibrate my gimbal and IMU and see if it solves my issues.
 

PaulRC

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Just curious as I had this happen to me for some time a while back and then it seemed to go away (with me doing nothing to fix it). Do you do your intial tap focus immediately after take off or after you've flown for a while? If memory serves me (and I'm old so maybe it no longer does), when I began to tap focus right after takeoff, the problem seemed to go away. Again, maybe it has nothing to do with it but was just curious.
 
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RadioFlyerMan

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I had the same problem. I solved it via gimbal recalibration.
 

Grantt

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Just curious as I had this happen to me for some time a while back and then it seemed to go away (with me doing nothing to fix it). Do you do your intial tap focus immediately after take off or after you've flown for a while? If memory serves me (and I'm old so maybe it no longer does), when I began to tap focus right after takeoff, the problem seemed to go away. Again, maybe it has nothing to do with it but was just curious.
Hi Paul,
I usually do my initial tap focus soon after take off.

I did the gimbal and IMU calibration. Seemed to happen again afterwards. That sucks. Then next flight looked ok. I'll have to test it out for a while to longer to see if it is a persistent problem.
 

ftttu

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I have one of my buttons(I've forgotten the button name but it is on the bottom left) as the center focus button. I used to use auto record, but it seems an update changed it to where I had terrible autofocus afterwards. I would hit that button, it would focus momentarily and then go to being out of focus. I read here a long while back that the solution they had found was to turn off auto record and then hit record after pressing the focus while in the air. After I took that advice, I am having perfect focus. So again, I take off, get about 50' up, hit my center focus button and then hit record...works like a charm.
 

Filmscum

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First, in camera settings make sure AFC (Auto Focus Continuous) is turned off. Then make sure you are in MF. Take off, switch to AF and tap to focus on something a good distance away which will set focus to infinity. Then switch back to MF and leave it there. Also focus peaking is a great tool to let you know if you're focus is set properly. It can be a little distracting when trying to compose, especially in D-Log with the LUT turned on. But if you're seeing a lot of red you know your focus is tack sharp! :)
 
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Grantt

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First, in camera settings make sure AFC (Auto Focus Continuous) is turned off. Then make sure you are in MF. Take off, switch to AF and tap to focus on something a good distance away which will set focus to infinity. Then switch back to MF and leave it there. Also focus peaking is a great tool to let you know if you're focus is set properly. It can be a little distracting when trying to compose, especially in D-Log with the LUT turned on. But if you're seeing a lot of red you know your focus is tack sharp! :)
"switch to AF and tap to focus on something a good distance away which will set focus to infinity. Then switch back to MF and leave it there."

If I am understanding your procedures accurately, you are suggesting to keep the drone at focus to infinity. If that is correct, I'm wondering why all the steps when I could just set to manual focus (MF) and manually move the focus slider to infinity and leave it there..... I feel like I am missing something. I also thought the drone adjusts focus much more frequently, than just staying on infinity. I guess I can use that focus peaking tool you mention to check the focus.
 

Grantt

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I have one of my buttons(I've forgotten the button name but it is on the bottom left) as the center focus button. I used to use auto record, but it seems an update changed it to where I had terrible autofocus afterwards. I would hit that button, it would focus momentarily and then go to being out of focus. I read here a long while back that the solution they had found was to turn off auto record and then hit record after pressing the focus while in the air. After I took that advice, I am having perfect focus. So again, I take off, get about 50' up, hit my center focus button and then hit record...works like a charm.
Ahh. I always start recording before taking off. I will try your method and not start recording until I am in the air and adjusted focus.
 

Filmscum

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"switch to AF and tap to focus on something a good distance away which will set focus to infinity. Then switch back to MF and leave it there."

If I am understanding your procedures accurately, you are suggesting to keep the drone at focus to infinity. If that is correct, I'm wondering why all the steps when I could just set to manual focus (MF) and manually move the focus slider to infinity and leave it there..... I feel like I am missing something. I also thought the drone adjusts focus much more frequently, than just staying on infinity. I guess I can use that focus peaking tool you mention to check the focus.

The manual focus to infinity on the Mavic has been buggy since day 1, it doesn't actually focus to true infinity. Because these lenses don't have a physical stopping place like "real" lenses do, it's impossible for the app to know where infinity is when using the slider. Even most DSLR lenses with stop points will focus past infinity, they do this because when conditions change (temperature, altitude, etc.) the elements in the lens react differently. It's wiggle room so to speak. On the Mavic if you switch to manual mode and either tap the infinity icon or scroll all the way to infinity you will see that your image is way out of focus (test it out). With focus peaking on you can manually slide the slider and tell when you're in focus, but I have found the sequence I described above is much faster.

Also, I'm using the term infinity because with these flying platforms that's what most people refer to as everything is in focus, which most of the time when you're flying that's what you want. If you want to go a step further what you are really after is the hyperfocal distance. That's when you are focusing your lens so that everything from a certain point in front of the lens to infinity is in focus, you are not setting the lens to the infinity mark. Basically you are trying to get the greatest Depth of Field. On the Mavic with a F2.2 fixed aperture, 28mm (35mm equivalent) focal length lens and the sensor size it is generally agreed that the hyperfocal distance is around 10 meters. So you can actually focus at 10m and everything from around 5m to infinity will be in focus. Now since we are all usually flying in big open spaces you really don't need something 5 meters away to be sharp, because your closest object is most likely farther than that. But if you're flying low to the ground, or over treetops, or close to a rock face or mountaintop you may want that closer focus. Those are the times when setting the hyperfocal will get you what you want. We could go even farther and talk about circles of confusion but I won't go there. :)

Again, focus peaking will help you out considerably especially when viewing in the field on a smartphone, tablet or something like the CrystalSky.
 
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Grantt

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Holy cow Filmscum, that was very insightful information. I guess there was a lot of info that I was missing when I read your previous post. If I remember correctly, I believe going to infinity manually did not result in a focused image, so that was consistent with what you mentioned.

Your response helps clear up a lot of things Ive been a bit confused about with the mavic. I feel I need to reread it about 5 more times and test myself before i truly understand it all, since this kind of stuff cant cram i to my brain that quickly. I do have a DSLR, so i do understand the basics of aperature and depth of field, but somethings you wrote were new to me so thats where i must ponder. Thanks!
 

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